“There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food!” – Ron Swanson
Making your own cured salmon is fun and easy, but plan ahead because the curing process takes a few days. Curing is preserving fish, meat or vegetables by smoking, salting or drying. The curing mixture of salt, sugar, and spices dehydrates the food. A fresh center cut piece of Atlantic salmon or the bright pink wild salmon are good choices. If possible when purchasing your salmon have the fishmonger remove the skin and pin bones, as it will save you a step. The cured salmon is best served when thinly sliced, with your favorite veggies and of course an assortment of bagels and cream cheese.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 (1 pound) salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
Combine the sugar, salt, pepper and caraway seeds in a small bowl, using your fingers to break up the chunks. Spread a large piece of plastic wrap over your work surface. Sprinkle half the spice onto the plastic, spreading it in an even layer, about the size of the salmon fillet. Place the salmon over the mixture and spread the remaining mixture over the top, using your hands to ensure it’s covered completely. Wrap plastic tightly around the salmon, leaving the ends open so the moisture can escape. Place the wrapped salmon on a wire rack over a rimmed roasting tray or baking sheet. Top the fish with another tray and then weigh it down with books or heavy-bottomed pan.
Place the trays in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days to cure. Flip the salmon once each day and drain off any liquid that has accumulated on the baking sheet. For a light cure, keep the salmon refrigerated for 2 days, or 3 days for a stronger flavor.
When you’re ready to serve the salmon, unwrap it and give it a good rinse, removing all the spice mixture and pat dry. Slice very thinly with a sharp knife, on the diagonal. Serve with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, lemons, red onion and an assortment of bagels or crackers.
Source: Wall Street Journal